5 February 2015
US apparel imports rebounded in December with China however losing market shares, whatever the spectacular shift from cotton to man-made fiber apparel. This is reflected by our statistical report covering monthly US apparel import data, with historical trends being analyzed over the last 10 years, including cotton vs man-made fiber apparel, and China vs Rest of World (RoW).
After falling in November, US apparel imports have rebounded in December, being up 5% and 2.3% in volume and value terms from the same period last year, respectively.
The average unit price of total shipments was down 2.5% from December 2013.
Unit values have clearly returned to a downward trend in the second part of the last year, continuously losing 2 to 2.5% from August to December, compared with the same months in 2013.
Over the full year 2014, unit prices however rose 0.75%, after falling 1% in 2013.
US apparel imports have only increased by 3.25% in volume terms in 2014, after rising 4.87% in 2013.
In value terms, the annual growth rates have been rather similar at 3.21% in 2013 and 3.19% in 2014.
The December's rebound of US apparel imports did not benefit China this time, with its shipments only up 1.5% in volume terms whereas imports surged 7.5% from other origins.
In value terms, Chinese imports even fell 2.7% while shipments rose 5.2% from other origins.
The shift from cotton to man-made fiber apparel also continued unabated in December, with cotton products falling 1.2% in volume terms whereas MMF apparel imports surged 10.9%.
This is line with full year data. Cotton apparel imports dropped 2.13% in 2014 while MMF apparel imports surged 8.8% by contrast.
More detailed data are available for key cotton and man-made fiber categories in our apparel import database, with import volumes, values and unit values per origin:
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